Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 29: The heat is on, and so Live @ Five is off.

This means Live @ Five takes two weeks off, returning on July 13.

June 27th, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Hall

Due to the extreme heat expected to hit the area this coming weekend, the City of New Albany has decided to postpone the Live@5 concert scheduled for this Friday, June 29th.

With temperatures expected to reach between 100-105 degrees on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Mayor Jeff M. Gahan is urging residents to stay cool, hydrated, and indoors during this heat wave. Given this fact, city officials thought it may be best try to reschedule at a later date for the safety of the attendees, event staff, and musical acts.

“With temperatures over the 100 degree mark, serious precautions need to be taken,” stated Mayor Gahan. “Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated, and do not forget to use your sunscreen if you have to go outside. In addition, please check on your neighbors throughout the weekend – especially the elderly.”

Mayor Gahan also stressed the importance of taking extra precautions while transporting infants and young children in vehicles during the summer heat.

Coming up on the City of New Albany’s Summer Entertainment Schedule is the annual Independence Celebration hosted at the scenic Riverfront Amphitheater. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 3rd, and will feature five musical acts and a large fireworks display. The event starts at 5pm, and is kicked off by Uncommon Sense, a Rock School band from Jimmy’s Music Center in New Albany. Fenderilla, another Rock School band from Jimmy’s will follow, with local band Violet Knives taking the stage after that. Olivia Henken will take the stage for an hour and twenty minute set, followed by The Louisville Crashers.

Live@5 will return regularly on Friday, July 13th. For more information, be sure to keep up-to-date with the City’s website and Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Both NABC locations will be closed on Wednesday, July 4.

We usually celebrate independence (the day and our own) by giving everyone a day off, and so it will go this year. Both NABC locations will go fishing on Wednesday, July 4.

The city of New Albany celebrates the holiday with fireworks and music on Tuesday, July 3, and NABC will be there to ensure your freedom from mass-market non-choice.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NABC is pouring at the city of New Albany's 2012 Independence Festival" on Tuesday, July 3, at the Riverfront Amphitheater.

The conspicuous absence of Confederate Railroad is happily noted; this is an inside joke (in more ways than one) from 2011.

For those so inclined, adult refreshments on the 3rd will begin at 4:00 p.m., and last call will be at 10:45 p.m. The "beer garden" area is restricted to those 21 years of age or older, although drinks can be carried into the all-ages area but not outside the perimeter of the venue's fencing. As of this moment, I am not aware of the city's plans for the vending of food, so stay tuned for further details. NABC hopes to see you there on Tuesday, July 3.


We will have 2 "Rock School" bands from Jimmy's Music Center (Uncommon Sense and Fenderilla).  "Violet Knives" will perform a half hour set afterwards, then Olivia Henken will take the stage.  The Louisville Crashers’ first set will follow, with a fireworks display serving as intermission, after which they'll return for their final set.  Wick's will be serving domestic beers, the NABC will be serving their craft beers and the River City Winery will be serving their craft wines.
Schedule of Events                      
5:00-5:30         Uncommon Sense
5:40-6:10         Fenderilla          
6:20-6:50         Violet Knives      
7:00-8:20         Olivia Henken     
8:30-9:45         Louisville Crashers       
9:45-10:00       Fireworks         
10:00-11:15     Louisville Crashers            
Violet Knives:  Derek Carrell (drums), Eric Condon (bass), Ty Goodwin (guitar), Shawn
Steele (vocals/guitar). Violet Knives are a local indie/alternative band. Influences include Radiohead, R.E.M., Joy Division, and Velvet Underground. 
Olivia Henken: "Big Star Bound!" ...With some artists, this is a true statement, and no more so than for Olivia Henken.  With numerous credits, from Musicals to National appearances, Olivia definitely has the talent to succeed.  Through belting out ballads and rocking out to "Gunpowder & Lead," Olivia has what it takes to entertain all ages.  Olivia is an entertainer for all, delivering an incredible show that must be experienced before her next appearance at an arena near you.
The Louisville Crashers: Widely recognized as one of the nation’s best party bands, the Louisville Crashers are the perfect band for any occasion. With their unparalleled energy, musicianship, and professionalism, they’ll keep your event rockin’ all night long!

Members of the Louisville Crashers have been certified as gold and platinum selling artists by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Canadian Recording Industry Association. They’ve also made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Grand Ole Opry, MTV, and many more. These outstanding musicians have toured all over the world, sharing the stage with world-famous artists such as Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Aerosmith and Michael McDonald.

Monday, June 25, 2012

NABC's lineup for the 17th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival on July 14.

The 17th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival almost is here. The straight dope can be found here, and for the sake of proper planning, here's the list of NABC beers making the trip up I-65 on July 14.

Beak's Best
Black & Blue Grass
Haggis Laddie
Naughty Girl (2012; cask-conditioned)
Yakima Rye IPA (Willett Rye barrel-aged)

And: 2012 ReplicAle

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meet the brewers: Post-collaboration Flat12 celebration at the Public House on Thursday, June 28.

The actual brew date for the Flat12 Bierwerks collaboration with NABC is Thursday, June 28. However, rumor has it that the closely guarded process already may have begun. The finished product will be a Black Berliner Weisse.

After the brew day is done, you can meet the Flat12 and NABC brewers at the Public House. The usual lineup of NABC beers will be on tap as always, joined for the occasion by a mini-takeover of a half-dozen choices from Flat12:

Bourbon Barrel-aged Big Black Dog 68 Rye Stout
Moustache Ride Red
Kiwi Kiwi Hefeweizen
Summer Cycle IPA
Karousel Kolsch
F12 Amber

Art Walk and beer.

Tony and Eric worked the Brew Ha Ha fundraiser for the Phoenix Theater yesterday in Indianapolis. Thanks to MF for the photo, via Twitter.

Richard and the Publican poured beers for the crowd in the beer garden for the annual Art Walk in downtown New Albany.

All in all, it was a great night downtown.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The scoop on NABC's upcoming event, 25 Years of Beer & Loathing.

ON THE AVENUES:  25 Years of Beer & Loathing.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor (originally posted at the NA Confidential blog)

My pal TR called for a catch-up chat. It had been a week since my return from four months in Europe, and I was woefully depleted of gossip, so TR suggested lunch at a joint called Sportstime Pizza, apparently recently established somewhere near Grant Line Road. I couldn’t really form a mental picture of the place until he resorted to a past-tense directional comparison: “It’s where the Noble Roman’s used to be.”

It was 1987, and now, as thousands of years of human history pass by, I join the chorus of individuals always asking, “Where did the time go?”

I couldn’t tell you the answer, except to mischievously recall another friend’s longtime assertion that his eventual autobiography would bear the title, “What I Remember.” Not mine, which is slated to be called “Beer, Bile and Bolsheviks: A Fermentable Life," but there’s little time to write the book because the business I inadvertently stumbled into two decades ago still keeps me ridiculously busy amid a career of selling the idea of beer, a course that somehow took shape during gaps between bouts of drinking lots and lots of it.

Naturally, none of this could have taken place without the work, contributions and input of so many people, from co-owners Amy and Kate through all our employees, customers and folks far too numerous to count – past, present and future. At the risk of sounding trite, I’ll consciously echo Queen, who said it best.

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain't gonna lose

Unfortunately, as I’m channeling the late and lamented Freddie Mercury, the missus is assuming the voice of barrister’s mate Hilda Rumpole to remind me that any mention of “fortune” is utterly misplaced in my professional context. It’s true, although the value of enjoying one’s work and being paid to drink beer whilst performing it … that’s truly priceless.


The New Albanian Brewing Company will mark its first quarter-century of existence with a day-long picnic and concert at New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater on Sunday, July 22, 2012.

As most readers probably know, nowadays the original location near Grant Line Road is known as the NABC Pizzeria & Public House, incorporating Sportstime, Rich O’s Public House (1992) and the 2002 addition of craft brewing on site. NABC’s most recent progeny (2009) is NABC Bank Street Brewhouse, located in New Albany’s historic business district downtown.

“25 Years of Beer & Loathing” is what we’re calling the fete, and NABC’s 25th anniversary celebration will be a day-long musical, family-friendly event with food, activities and refreshments suitable for all ages. The venue is New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater, from 10:00 a.m. to sundown on Sunday, July 22. The Amphitheater is located by the Ohio River in downtown New Albany, with ample parking available by the levee at the foot of Pearl Street.

There is no cover charge for this event, and it’ll be cash 'n' carry for food, drinks and vending. Proceeds after expenses will be disbursed in the form of grants to Rauch Inc., the Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund and New Albany First.

So that all of our current employees can participate in recalling 25 Years of Beer & Loathing, NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse will be closed on Sunday, July 22, although the Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar will be operating at the Riverfront Amphitheater from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (see below). Following in alphabetical order are details about what to expect.

NABC’s draft truck (Rosa L. Stumblebus) will be on hand with old favorites and special releases. We’ll be pouring all four of NABC’s 10th brewery anniversary beers: Bourbondaddy, Stumblebus, Turbo Hog and Scotch de Ainslie. There’ll also be a special 10th anniversary session ale called Get Off My Lawn. In addition, limited quantities of cask-conditioned Naughty Girl (double dry-hopped) and Oaked Choufftimus will be served while they last.

Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar
A Bank Street Brewhouse staple at Sunday brunch, the bar will move to the waterfront, with Miss Sarah on hand to guide visitors through garnishes, sauces and fresh embellishments.

Charitable donations
Net monies after expenses will be used for grants to be given to Rauch Inc, the Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund and NA1st. Our longtime friends at Rauch support people with disabilities through services designed to promote individual choices, growth and well being, while encouraging a community environment that acknowledges the value and contribution of all people. They’ll be helping NABC with the children’s area and site clean-up. The Isabel Jade Pickhardt Fund was set up to assist the daughter of the late Ryan Pickhardt, a local musician and keyboard player for the band Sativo Gumbo, with whom NABC has longstanding ties. NA1st is New Albany’s only grassroots independent business alliance, seeking to support and promote independent business owners and to educate community members about the importance of buying locally. On the 22nd, volunteers from NA1st will assist NABC in monitoring entrances and exits, and policing the grounds.

Children’s Area Activities
A duck pond, face painting, temporary tattoos, an art area and perhaps other activities will be available for the kids.

Feast BBQ (116 W Main St) is roasting a pig, and will be offering these items: Pork sliders with pickles and onions; pork tacos with cilantro, lime, cotija, and crema; and smoked corn on the cob ... Shawn, TJ and Charlestown Pizza Company will be preparing chicken salad croissants, Asian slaw, pasta salad, fruit cups and other fare ... NABC is brewing root beer for the event, and of course there’ll be water and soft drinks.

Music schedule

10:00 a.m.: (house music)
12 Noon: Roz Tate
1:00 p.m.: Ben Traughber
2:00 p.m.: Five Foot Fish
3:00 p.m.: Beeler Attic
4:00 p.m.: Jed and the NoiseMakers
5:00 p.m.: Porch Possums
6:00 p.m.: Dust Radio
7:00 p.m.: Whiskey Riders
8:00 p.m.: Toledo Bend

River City Winery will be on hand to sell wines and Sangria.

We hope you'll be able to stop by and help us remember what we remember.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ryan and Roger and Ian on the radio. Read below to find out when.

(June 23 update: Ian Hall (The Exchange) will be joining Ryan and the Publican on Chefboyardean ... read Steve Coomes's column here)

Those damned Louisville-area television stations forgot all about me after the Sherman Minton Bridge reopened earlier this year, so it’s time for me to take my talents to Clear Channel radio, at least for one Thursday night next week.

I’ll be joining Ryan Rogers, whose Feast BBQ is days away from opening in New Albany, on Chefboyardean next Thursday (June 28) from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., at 1080 AM Talk Radio, WKJK.

Chefboyardean is hosted by the legendary Louisville chef Dean Corbett, but Dean’s out of town next week, so stepping in as the radio program’s guest host is my former beer student, the freelance food writer and all-around great guy Steve Coomes. Just like Steve, I have the perfect face for radio, although Ryan’s fairly photogenic.

We’ll be talking about Feast, NABC and downtown New Albany’s dining and drinking scene. Tune in.

Haggis Laddie is back -- even if its primary reason for being is not.

In late January, I learned that the 2012 Celts on the River concert would be held not in New Albany, a city that had given the concert's organizers metaphorical refuge, a physical riverfront home and extensive help in nurturing the fledgling event for three years running, but in downtown Jeffersonville.

Evidently the concert was poached by Jeffersonville officials after the Celts committee organizer saw no compelling reason to inform New Albany that a bidding war was underway, seeing as to do so would have allowed for a matching counter-offer.

But worry not, New Albany's loss will be Jeffersonville's, too, once the Celtic carpetbaggers flee to Otisco, New Amsterdam or Birdseye at some point in the future, given that there seems to be no sentiment for them to be hosted anywhere in Louisville, from whence most of them hail. Therein lies an interesting story from the archives, but not just yet.

In the absence of regular communications between the organizers and NABC, which in retrospect was a predictable indicator of prospective divorce, we'd already placed Haggis Laddie Celtic Red on the production schedule to be ready for pouring at the concert in June. That's because we've been brewing it for the main purpose of being the event's "official" beer.

Yes, we might have made an adjustment in the schedule once we learned that the carpetbagging committee had flown the coop, but I wanted to ensure that all of it would be gone BEFORE the new concert date of September 8 ... all of which is to say, NABC Haggis Laddie Celtic Red now is on tap at the Pizzeria & Public House, and kegs are ready for tapping at Bank Street Brewhouse. Enjoy them, because we're not brewing any more batches this year.

The NABC beer and event weekend ahead.

Here is a collection of headlines hinting at the numerous places where you can drink NABC beers during the next few days while recreating in the great heated outdoors. Note also that the Dubois County Bombers host Springfield on Friday evening, June 22nd. We're there, too.

Live @ Five returns to the 400 block of Bank Street this Friday with Jimmy G and the Sidewinders.

"LIBA kicks off 'Independents Week' a little early with the Louisville Brewfest," coming June 22.

The Public Art Walk is this Saturday (June 23), with accompanying NABC beer garden and live music.

Black & Blue Grass at Iroquois for Counting Crows, June 25.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's a long story, indeed.

Ben gets the credit/blame. For more information on Turbo Hog, one of our tenth anniversary bygoner revival series, go here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's official: "The Exchange pub + kitchen to relocate to downtown New Albany this fall."

Ian's back from Florida, the relocation wheels are turning, and so here's the official press release documenting the plan for the Exchange pub + kitchen's move to downtown New Albany (in the space to the left above).

An interesting aside: They may appear as one, but the Exchange space and the forthcoming Feast BBQ side (to the right) are separate buildings. I was wondering about that.


For Immediate Release
Contact: Ian Hall
Tel.: 812.948.6501

The Exchange pub + kitchen to relocate to downtown New Albany this fall.

New Albany, IN (June 19,2012) The Exchange pub + kitchen will be relocating this fall just 3 miles away from its current location on Grantline Road to 118 W. Main St. in downtown New Albany. According to Ian Hall, President of BRAND Hospitality Group, “our existing lease is expiring this fall and I have decided to take advantage of the opportunity to work with local real estate developer Steve Resch. We have purchased the historic Shrader's Stable building in downtown New Albany at 118 W. Main St. This project has been 2 years in the making and I felt the timing was ideal to make the transition. When the opportunity to work with Steve Resch came along it was something that I could not pass up.” As a result of the move the company will be adding additional job opportunities to the community.

The new location is being completely renovated to showcase the buildings historic feel. In keeping with history of the building, the focus will be on using reclaimed and salvaged materials throughout. “We are keeping the building as original as possible to maintain the the history that surrounds Shrader's Stable. It is such an amazing space with so much history to the city of New Albany and I can't wait for our guests to have the opportunity to experience it”, Hall said. The Exchange pub + kitchen will offer seating for 150 patrons and will include an elevated bar area with a 30 foot reclaimed bar, as well as an indoor-outdoor patio space complimented by carriage style doors that will open up to Main St. Guests will be drawn to the soaring 20 foot ceilings complete with exposed bridge trusses. There will also be a private dining space located on the second floor that will available for up to 50 guests, complete with the original windows of the building offering views of the Ohio river and a 30 foot balcony that will overlook the restaurant below.

Guests will continue to receive the same outstanding customer service and high quality food and beverage in a comfortable and casual setting. Executive Chef Rick Adams will offer his American Seasonal menu that will rotate throughout the year, with an emphasis on local products and purveyors. Savory local inspired menu items include 3D Valley Farms Angus Burgers, Bourbon Beer Cheese with Klaus' Pretzel Baguette, Duncan Farms Braised Rabbit with celery root puree and a rosemary stock reduction, Pan Seared U10 Scallops with Capriole Farms Goat Cheese Risotto, Shrimp and Grits with a smoked tomato chutney, and a classic Steak Frites are just a few of the seasonal menu selections.

The restaurant will be open for lunch Monday thru Friday 11a.m.-2:30p.m. Dinner will be available Monday thru Friday from 430p.m.-10p.m., with Saturday hours from Noon – 10p.m. There will be a late bar menu available in the lounge Thursday thru Saturday until 12 a.m.

About BRAND Hospitality Group: Owner Ian Hall has been in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. The Exchange pub + kitchen was established in January 2011 and has quickly become one of the areas most well known dining destinations. The focus at the Exchange is high quality food and beverage in a comfortable and casual setting. Seasonal rotating menus and the use of local products and purveyors are the cornerstone of the kitchen. The beverage program puts an emphasis on rotating craft beers, house made signature cocktails made from fresh ingredients and premium spirits, and boutique style wines. To find out more about BRAND Hospitality Group and the Exchange pub + kitchen visit

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grant Line Road railroad crossing work on June 18.

The following closure will have no effect on vehicular access to NABC's Pizzeria & Public House from I-265.

If you reach us from inner city NA, there'll be a detour; many of you probably already know the various ways to cut through back streets. There are many.

The city believes this work will not take an entire week, so we're hoping it'll be just a few days of inconvenience at the beginning of the week. The long delayed work on our stretch of Grant Line Road, which has been manifested by lane closures, continues and is expected to be finished by September.

Part of Grant Line Road to close June 18; CSX resurfacing railroad crossing near Pillsbury plant, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune)

NEW ALBANY — The date for the Grant Line Road closure has been moved back to June 18, as the street will be shut down at the train tracks near Rolling Creek Drive for likely one week.

CSX Railroad Corp. will be resurfacing the crossing in conjunction with the city’s Grant Line Road improvement project, though New Albany is flipping the bill for the work.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Live @ Five summertime Friday concert series shifts to the 400 block of Bank Street.

Friday, June 15 - Live @ Five
Friday, June 22 - Live @ Five
Saturday, June 23 - Bicentennial Public Art Walk Party

On the afternoons/evenings listed above, the 400 block of Bank Street will be closed to permit block parties sponsored by the city (on the 15th and 22nd) and the Bicentennial Public Art Project (on the 23rd). There will be musical entertainment and NABC beer at each of these events, so come out and enjoy them before, after and during your visit to Bank Street Brewhouse.

Obviously, these events will affect BSB's customary street parking, but the usual surface lots will be available for use via the two-way alley behind Bank Street Brewhouse (between Banks and Pearl Streets).

There are other available surface parking lots within a block’s walk of this spot, and throughout downtown New Albany. These events provide an excellent opportunity to park your car somewhere and stroll the re-emerging historic business core.

Read the city's press release here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Black & Blue Grass at Iroquois for Counting Crows, June 25.

NABC Black & Blue Grass will be available on draft when Counting Crows headline The Outlaw Roadshow at Iroquois Amphitheater on Monday, June 25. Thanks to River City Distributing for the placement.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Smokin' on the River is this coming weekend in Jeffersonville.

Smokin On The River BBQ, Blues & Brew Festival returns to Jeffersonville on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16.

Again this year, Cluckers is hosting a Craft Brew and BBQ Tasting Tent during both festival days. Dollar tickets will be sold, which can be used for beer samples, or combined to buy full pours. Based on last year's schedule, here's the plan for the tent:

On Friday, June 15
4-9pm - Brew and BBQ

9-11pm - Brew Only

On Saturday, June 16th
Noon-4pm - Brew Only
4-9pm - Brew and BBQ
9-11pm - Brew Only

NABC will have Elector and Naughty Girl on hand, with remaining beers being supplied by World Class Beer (tentative list):

Bell's Oberon
Schlafly Summer Lager
BBC Amber (or possibly Saison)
Flat 12 Upside Down Blonde and Tangerine Porter (alternating through the same draft line)
Boulevard Tank 7 Saison
Schlafly American IPA
Victory Golden Monkey
Oaken Barrel Indiana Amber
Triton Deadeye Stout
Barley Island Dirty Helen

The musical lineup for the adjacent Riverstage:

The Tarnations Blues Band, Marylin Kington and 2Loose, Josh Garrett.

Porkpie James Band, Jimmy Davis Band, da Mudcats, The Snakehandlers Blues Band, Teeny Tucker.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Thursday, June 07, 2012

NABC at Exclusively New Albany.

If memory serves, the direct predecessor of Exclusively New Albany was a gathering at the Little Culbertson in 2008. This was followed by two events at Mayor England's home (2009, 2010), and last year's version downtown. For a fifth fete in 2012, the scene shifts to the Bingham home at Dewey Heights, which is located where Main Street meets Vincennes.

I will be there to represent NABC and pour beer samples.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

"LIBA kicks off 'Independents Week' a little early with the Louisville Brewfest," coming June 22.

LIBA listened, and this year's Louisville Brewfest moves to a roomier Slugger Field. This has been a stellar event in the past, and you couldn't ask for better symbolism than Louisville's independent business alliance combining with the metro area's independent breweries to offer a uniquely tasteful evening. For the complete rundown, click here.

This Louisville celebration of local, independent brewers, independent businesses, and independent thinkers will shelve uniformity and celebrate our uniqueness. The Louisville Independent Business Alliance kicks off “Independents Week” a little early with the Louisville Brewfest!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

NABC to pour Progressive Pints at city's Live @ Five events (Fridays this summer).

(The poster has nothing whatever to do with Live @ Five, but it reminds us of Wisconsin's recall election today, and it will annoy elected Republicans, as well as this foodie stalker dude named Steve H)

Last Friday (June 1) saw the inaugural edition of New Albany's summertime Friday concert series opener, Live @ Five. It was an encouraging beginning.

This week on Friday, June 8, the series continues with Smokin' Joe, and at the same location: A temporary downtown venue formed by closing a section of Market Street (including the State Street intersection). The party runs from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and once again, the city encourages parking in the city's parking garage at the corner of State and Market, or at the foot of Pearl Street in the lot by the levee. Of course, street parking is nearby, as well.

The next two Fridays (June 15 and 22nd), Live @ Five will shift to a different location: The 400 block of Bank Street and adjacent parking lots behind the Carnegie Center will be combined to create the party space. Most readers know this area as comprising the street and territories directly adjacent to NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse at 415 Pearl.

Naturally, Bank Street Brewhouse will be open for business as usual, serving food and beer, during the two Friday evenings when Live @ Five is taking place next door. However, it won't be possible to combine the two licensed premises or take beers back and forth between them.

Fortunately, NABC's Rosa L. Stumblebus draft truck will be vending NABC beers at these Live @ Five events. To access NABC's approved parking lots during the time when Bank Street is shut off, just use the alley between Bank and Pearl (from Elm eastbound, and Spring westbound).

At this time, I believe NABC will have Rosa at hand for pouring beer at all of the Live @ Five gigs, which will run through August. It is likely that these will remain  primarily on Friday, but they might be rotated to other days of the week, and they will be moved from place to place downtown.

The city's Live @ Five press release and video are here, and following are two scenes from June 1.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Beak's Best standee for Dubois County Bombers games.

Ruminations, Part 3: Bitterness isn’t always imparted by hops.

In last week’s column at, I mentioned a recent experience manning the beer concession tent at a music festival, and while there, being reminded several times of the critical importance of accepting the presence of mass-market beer among the offerings.

Domestic? Yes and no.

Now, the fact that the largest American-owned brewer is Yuengling, with Samuel Adams coming just behind, tells us that the word “domestic” has become another victim of Orwellian meaningless, courtesy of multinational consolidations and PR gobbledygook.

I was duly enlightened: Bud and Bud Light are necessary owing to the simple, down-home sensitivities of normal, ordinary small-town residents.

Ironically, when the music festival in question commenced seven years ago under the guidance of its insightful founder (now sadly deceased), no mass market beer was sold at all. The founder presciently viewed local music, beer, wine and food to have been cut from the same conceptual cloth of diverse human pleasures, and planned the event accordingly to maximize a joyful uniqueness.

It was only later that he was pressured by forever parochial powers-that-be to include mass-market beer, owing to “complaints” from a handful of presumably outraged town residents who were dissatisfied that for three whole days out of 365, they’d be unable to suckle their favorite swill, whenever and wherever they wanted, even if every other tavern in town within a five minute walk of the venue still had plenty of it.

The good news is that in spite of mass-market beer’s unfortunate inclusion, the music festival’s beer vending orientation has remained craft-driven, primarily owing to the integrity and dogged persistence of a cadre of enthusiasts determined to keep the founder’s remarkably bold vision afloat. Consequently, this year’s share of mass-market beer sales was once again less than 25% of the total.

With carbonated urine firmly ensconced in a minority status at the music festival, and removed from its accustomed position of monolithic and unquestioned pre-eminence – in short, no longer permitted to tilt the competitive playing field in a situation of institutionalized payola – the faux poignancy of the common man’s dilemma was brought even more sharply into focus.

Now, standing wild-eyed and disoriented in the vending tent at the music festival, faced with a menacing array of alien beers, ideas, philosophies and unpronounceable words, the common man petulantly demands that we all be concerned for his individual welfare and special beer needs, and commands us to alter the festival’s purpose-built laws of entrepreneurial supply and demand to represent a mass market now rendered into a niche market.

Pardon me while I stifle a yawn, find a spittoon and cast my ballot.

Such touching concern for the common man’s commonality … and yet all these years, twenty or more, I’ve been going to just such music festivals, civic affairs and ball games, and politely asking whether a craft beer might conceivably be available for me to enjoy, given my own special needs … and what have I almost always gotten in return?

Incomprehension, condescension, derision and indifferent shrugs, and sometimes outright hostility, and verily, I’ll shotgun a triple-watered Miller Lite before I forget that no one back then ever seemed to care whether it might be worth providing vending options for members of a beer-drinking minority when it was MY beer-drinking minority.

Rather, I was expected to timidly conform to swill’s vacuity, or go completely dry – and now, with the shoe finally on the other foot, even if at only one festival of many, I find it exceedingly difficult not to repay them in kind.

Furthermore, notice that while the fearful organizers of the music festival in question now declare it to be of critical importance for us to be properly concerned for the welfare of those members of the oppressed minority preferring “domestic” beer, a commensurate concern is not being expressed for the needs of OTHER common men and women in attendance.

Wait, mustn’t there be vegan options for the common man who doesn’t eat meat?

Don’t we need some boxes of White Zinfandel for the common women who resent being expected to comprehend varietals?

Shouldn’t there be a chintzy Buffett cover band on the folk festival playlist, because after all, a brace of common folk may have wandered in by mistake with a desperate need to revisit Margaritaville?

Or, there must be (fill in the blank) if for no other reason than that one obnoxious fellow last year who kept asking for it.

Of course, the ultimate truth of the matter is even more prosaic than usual:

We must have (fill in the blank) because this solitary organizing committee member just can’t imagine drinking/eating/using/grasping anything else, and accordingly, let ideas and concepts be damned.

So, yes, I suppose I’m being mean-spirited and condescending, and what’s more, it is purely intentional.

As Nelson Mandela probably never once said, “Paybacks Are Hell.” At the same time, I’m obviously not Mandela. When I wear one of my “These Machines Kill Fascists” t-shirts, I invariably wonder if it occurs to anyone outside the circle of knowing craft cognescenti that the message directly refers to my traditional view of the world of beer, and in a transparently obvious way: AB-Inbev and its industrial brewer brethren are the fascists, and craft brewers are the freedom-fighters.

On the other hand, perhaps the meaning can’t ever be obvious to those who regard Olive Garden as the acme of fine Italian dining.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Of course Applebee's serves "local beer."

Thanks to S for this view of the Applebee's menu; specifically, it's the Grant Line Road location in New Albany, where the choices undoubtedly differ from those in Fairbanks, Alaska and Mobile, Alabama.

Taken as a whole, the phrase "local beer favorites" easily might suggest "those beers preferred by locals," and in this context mass-market swill is a given.

But notice the way that the first two words (local beer) are shaded. Tricky, aren't they?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Baylor on Beer at "Domestic? Yes and no."

It all depends on how you don't look at it.

Domestic? Yes and no.

Ever since Anheuser-Busch was folded into the international monolith currently known as AB-Inbev, there has been no single polemical activity quite as entertaining as reminding flag-waving, chest-thumping, God-fearing patriots that their carbonated urine of choice no longer emanates from an American-owned brewery.
Rather, it has become the possession of a dastardly multinational conglomerate. That’s right: Controlled by the same overseas shareholders who likely speak vernacular European (where the phrase for unfathomable dishwater is pronounced “Stella Artois”), routinely torture poor geese for use of their fattened livers, and not only know what a bidet is, but also how to use it.